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Nurse-led clinics for coronary heart disease in general practice can cut deaths and are highly cost-effective, a new study concludes.

Researchers said the secondary prevention clinics were an affordable way of boosting quality scores.

Some 14.5 per cent of patients who attended a nurse-led clinic died during follow-up, compared with 19.1 per cent of those who had standard care. The clinics cost just £1,236 per quality of life year gained, compared with a standard threshold for cost-effectiveness of £30,000.

Nurses provided reviews of symptoms and risk factors, secondary preventive treatment and lifestyle advice.

Dr Neil Campbell, senior lecturer at the University of Aberdeen and a sessional GP in Torphins, said: 'Traditionally GPs have not implemented clinics until they knew them to be worthwhile. The new contract rewards these initiatives; under the old contract these clinics would have been very expensive.'

The study of 19 practices was published online in the BMJ this week.

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